Foster/Adopt and Adoption programs are designed to improve permanency outcomes for children and youth in foster care. CONCERN is committed to helping children find a permanent family they can call their own. As an affiliate of the PA Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN), the department provides the following services:
A Child Profile is developed for use with prospective families in the matching process and to provide information to the child regarding his life and history. It includes information about the child’s developmental, social, psychological, medical and educational history, her birth family, her current behaviors and relationships and her readiness for adoption. A copy of the Child Profile is given to the family prior to finalization of the adoption.
Child Profiles are developed by reviewing records at the county agency and foster care agency, requesting additional records, interviewing various birth relatives and other significant people in the child’s life if possible, and meeting with the child and his foster or foster/adoptive family.
Child Preparation Services
Child Preparation Services have been developed to assist children as they prepare for a permanency option, which may include adoption, permanent legal custodianship, kinship care, a return home or another permanent living arrangement.
Child preparation includes three objectives: clarification – helping the child understand what happened to him; integration – helping the child understand and accept that he is part of more than one family; and actualization – helping the child visualize himself as a member of a permanent placement.
Child Specific Recruitment
Child Specific Recruitment (CSR) is a unique method of finding permanent homes for waiting children.
It’s a great way to let families from other communities learn about the children we serve. Through a special plan that is developed with and for each child with his individual needs in mind, we give waiting children an opportunity to be seen by prospective families.
Selected children will be asked for their input and feelings on publicity. They will be involved in the development of flyers and brochures that highlight their strengths and the positive things about them.
CSR is also a way to find permanent connections and a network of support for an older youth who faces the prospect of “aging out” of the system. Children and youth without a goal of adoption often benefit from assistance in locating and reconnecting with extended family and other adults from their past who can support the youth in a variety of ways.
The Family Profile
A Family Profile is a confidential document legally required for the finalization of an adoption.
Family Profiles address various family issues to gain an idea of the family as a unit and who the individuals are within the family. In addition to being used as an adoption finalization document, family profiles also can be used as a tool for matching families and children.
The family preparation/study process seeks to get to know the family, how it works, why it works for those included in the family, how the family approaches stress and crises, and how the child fits into this family with his/her unique special needs.
The family preparation/study process includes an orientation to the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) and a 24-hour preparation training on various topics pertinent to the adoption of special needs children.
Placement and matching services involve working with families who desire to expand their family through adoption but who do not already have an identified child. When the Family Profile is completed, the family and their worker search for children who are in need of a permanent home who would be a good “fit” for the child and the family. The Permanency worker provides support to families during this process until the family is selected for a specific child and the match is made. A series of pre-placement visits occur before the child is moved to the family’s home, and the worker assists the family in identifying the child’s needs and obtaining the appropriate services for the child in their community.
After a placement occurs and adoption finalization services begin, supervisory visits occur on at least a monthly basis and reports are provided to the county with legal custody of the child. As the time for finalization approaches, CONCERN can assist the family in securing the services of a qualified attorney. We prepare the Intent to Adopt, Intermediary Report and Confidential Information to Attorney forms.
We submit these documents along with other required documents to the attorney, who then prepares the petition. The attorney files the documents in the court and acquires a finalization date. The family is accompanied to court by its assigned permanency specialist, who has been working with them throughout the process.